New York: The US dollar fell against a basket of major currencies on Monday on persisting concerns about global economic growth and worries that the Federal Reserve may delay its first interest rate hike.

Concerns over the health of overseas economies continued in the wake of last week’s weak German economic data and the International Monetary Fund’s cut to its global growth forecast, and strengthened the euro and Japanese yen against the dollar.

And Fed officials said on Saturday that a slowdown in the global economy could hamper a tightening of US monetary policy. Many currency traders anticipate that a Fed hike in short-term interest rates will boost the dollar by driving investment flows into the United States.

“The belief is that the Fed would be one of the first central banks to tighten policy,” said Vassili Serebriakov, currency strategist at BNP Paribas in New York. “If the Fed is less likely to tighten because of global growth concerns, markets are likely to reduce their exposure to long dollar positions.” Among Fed officials’ remarks on Saturday, Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said at an event sponsored by the IMF that the global outlook might hamper the effort to normalise US

monetary policy after years of extraordinary stimulus.

Analysts said the yen, which tends to gain on jitters over global growth, benefited from the dollar’s weakness, while both the yen and the euro rose as traders unwound riskier currency bets.

China’s September trade data showed exports in the world’s second-largest economy grew 15.3 per cent year-on-year and imports were up 7 per cent in terms of value.

The data helped boost the Australian and New Zealand dollars, given close trade ties between those countries and China, said Eric Viloria, currency strategist at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

The euro was last up 0.5 per cent against the US

dollar at $1.2690, just below a session high of $1.2699. The dollar fell 0.55 per cent against the yen to 107.10 yen after hitting 107.07 yen, its lowest level in nearly a month, earlier in the session.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, dropped 0.54 per cent to 85.459. The dollar was 0.51 per cent weaker against the Swiss franc at 0.9524 franc.

The Australian dollar climbed 0.98 per cent to $0.8766, while the New Zealand dollar rose 0.99 per cent to $0.7893.

US bond markets were closed for the Columbus Day holiday.

US stocks fell sharply, with the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 index down 1.65 per cent.